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Life of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - Christian Bookshop
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That received, away the angelic messenger hastens from the celestial regions, and in the borrowed dress of human likeness, quick as thought, presents him self before the holy Virgin Mary, in the inmost re cess of her little habitation. Yet not so expeditious was his flight, but that the blessed Trinity, antici pating their ambassador, were in the happy mansion before him.
The Father and the Holy Ghost co operating alike in this august and unutterable mys tery. Here then, be specially attentive, and as if pres ent to everything that is said and done, endeavor to comprehend every circumstance that passes. Oh, what scope may not this subject afford your medita tion. What reflections may you not gather from that little mansion, where such personages are assem bled, and such ineffable mysteries wrought by them.
For though the sacred Trinity be undoubtedly al ways everywhere present, yet, in this place, at this juncture, it was present in a more singular and in effable manner than usual, on account of the super natural and unspeakable work then and there effected. The angel Gabriel then arrived at the holy man sion, and entering to the Blessed Virgin, thus the faithful proxy began his message: "Hail, full of grace! Her disturbance, however, proceeded not from any guilty disorder within her ; neither could it be occasioned by the angelical vision, such kind of visits being, from their frequency, be come familiar to her.
But, to speak in the words of the Evangelist, "She was disturbed at the angel's speech. Nor could the humble Virgin be other than disturbed at the triple commendation included in his angelical salutation. Her discomposure then was wholly the effect of a virtuous and becoming bashfulness ; accompanied with a fear of too easily giving in to the belief of what she heard. Not that she in the least mis trusted the angel's veracity ; but, because it is ever the faculty of the truly humble to tend to perfection, by examining into and magnify ing their defects, while they either remain wholly insensible of any merit in themselves, or see it through the lessening end of the perspective.
Fler böcker av Dr John Fleetwood
Thus, as becomes a prudent, fearful, and modest Virgin, our blessed lady remained si lent, returning no answer to the angelical salutation, as if not knowing what to reply. Learn from her example the study and practice of silence : a virtue of the greatest utility to such as are endowed with it. The vice contrary to which is so odious in all, but especially in women, and more in young ones and virgins, that this sacred pattern of modesty could not prevail on herself to make any answer, till she had heard the angel twice utter his mysterious mes sage ; nor even then could she have resolved to break through her wonted silence, but that the sacred mes senger, apprized of the cause of her despondency, encouraged her in the following words : " Fear not, Mary, nor be concerned at the encomiums I render you.
Why should your modesty blush to receive the praises justly due to you? You are not only full of grace yourself, but even born to be the means of restoring all mankind to the grace of God, which they had lost. For behold, you shall conceive, and bring forth the Son of the Most High, who has chosen you to be an instrument of the salvation, destined to all who put their trust in him. Wherefore, she requested the angel to acquaint her with the manner of the conception, in the following words : " How shall this be effected upon me who have dedi cated myself to God by a vow of perpetual virgin ity?
For nothing is to him impossible. In proof of which, know that by the same power of God, your kins woman Elizabeth, though old and barren, is now six months gone in her pregnancy of a male child. With what wisdom and attention does the angel employ his heavenly eloquence to persuade her, and with what sweetness, reverence, and affa bility he bends before her as his awful mistress, faithfully executing his embassy, and attentively observing her words, that he may reply to them in a manner becoming her dignity, his office, and the will of the Almighty.
And finally, with what a becom ing deportment, mixed with graceful bashfulness of countenance, she receives the sudden and surprising message, without being elated by it. She attributes wholly to the divine grace the wonderful encomiums bestowed on her, though such as were never given to any other mortal. Consider attentively this, and learn from so great LO..
U JLZ. But to return to our subject. The Blessed Virgin, after hearing the foremen- tioned words of the angel, with a prudence equal to the rest of her conduct, gave her consent : and, as her revelations declare, kneeling with her hands joined in a devout posture, said : " Behold the hand maid of the Lord : Be it be done to me according to thy word.
However, you may for piety' s sake imagine, that the Son of God, undertaking this laborious em bassy of obedience, reclined and recommended him self to the Father, and that in the same instant his soul was created and infused into the womb of his Mother : so that, though he afterwards grew in the womb, as naturally as other children are wont to do, yet he received not like them any increase of facul ties in his soul, or diversity in limbs ; being then as perfect God and perfect man, and equally wise and powerful as he is now.
But to return to the angel. Gabriel, to accompany the Blessed Virgin in her devotion, kneeled for awhile, and then rising, pro foundly bent himself to her in a respectful manner to take his leave, after which he vanished immedi ately. The Blessed Virgin now alone all in raptures, and more than usually inflamed with the love of God, began to be sensible of her pregnancy.
Where fore, throwing herself again upon her knees, she re turned God thanks for so great a favor, and with most humble and fervent supplication, besought him to vouchsafe her the instructions necessary to render her capable of acting her part towards her son, free from any defect; or imperfection.
Let your heart rejoice, and the day be crowned with holy mirth : a day hitherto unheard of since the beginning of time. A day devoted to the honor of God the Father who celebrates the nuptials of his Son, espoused to human nature, which he has in separably united to himself. A day sacred to the wedding of the Divine Son, and to his entrance into the virginal womb, through which he has to pass into the world.
A day solemn to the Holy Ghost, by whose singular and wonderful co-operation the work of the Incarnation was effected : and whose extra ordinary benignity this day began to show itself to mankind. A day of glory to our blessed Lady, who on the same was acknowledged and assumed by the Father for a Daughter by the Son for a Mother bj r the Holy Ghost for a Spouse. A day of rejoic ing to the whole heavenly choir, on account of the work of their reparation commencing from it ; but more especially to mankind, on account of their sal vation, redemption, and reconciliation ; for on this day properly was the whole human nature exalted and deified.
On this day the Son submitted to the new com mand of his Father in the work of our salvation. On this day, coming forth from the highest heaven, he exalted Wee a giant to run Tiis race, and entered into the virginal garden of his mother's womb.
On this day he was made one of us, and becoming our brother, began to sojourn among us. On this day the true light descended from heaven to expel away our darkness, and disperse the clouds of our ignorance. On this day the bread of life, which enlivens the world, was truly perfected in the sacred tabernacle of the virginal womb, and the word was made flesh to dwell amongst us. They cried aloud, with an inexpres sible earnestness, saying: Send forth, Lord, tltz Lamb, the ruler of the earth. Drop de:o ye heavens from above, and let the clouds rain the just.
Our LORD and SAVIOUR, Jesus Christ!
Would, God, thou wouldst burst the heavens asunder and descend. Chap, xliv. Lord, incline thy heavens and descend. SJiow us thy fare and we shall he saved. These, with infinite others of like nature, to be seen in Holy Writ, were their re peated instances for the approach of the solemn day, which they so ardently expected. This day gave the first beginning to every joyful solemnity, and is the only true source of all our real happiness. For though hitherto Almighty God has been justly in censed against mankind, for the transgression of their first progenitors, yet from this time his anger against them shall cease at the sight of his only Son made man for their redemption.
Hence is this day so justly styled "the fulness of time;" that is, a time of grace and redemption to man. And hence also may we deem the wonderful greatness of this most solemn and ineffable mystery, where all is profitable and sweet, all is gay and decent, all is pleasing and desirable ; in a word, where all is so sublimely sacred, that it requires our inmost devo tion to treat of it, our purest transports to solemnize it, and our profoundest veneration to adore it.
Let such then be the heads of your meditation make them the scope of all your pleasure and, choose them for your frequent and favorite amusement.
The Life of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Rev J Fleetwood
Wherefore, in company with her be loved spouse St. Joseph, she immediately set out on her journey, from the little city of Nazareth, towards the house of St. Elizabeth, which was near Jeru salem, and about seventy miles distant from Nazar eth. Neither the length of the journey, nor the labors of the way, could deter her from her pious resolution ; but without delay she went on with all speed, that she might not appear long abroad. Nor was she like other women in her condition, in the least burdened by the divine infant she bore in her womb.
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